Spokane Public Schools taking proposals as cutoff nears

Seven years of foreign language. Extra math and science. Nine-hour school days and an extended school year. These are the makings of a charter school planned for Spokane next year.

Brenda McDonald plans to submit an application to Spokane Public Schools to start Pride Prep, a free college preparatory school for sixth- through 12th-graders considered to be at risk for slipping in school.0916_A1_CHARTER_t400

“Our goal is not only for each student to go to a four-year college but for them to graduate,” McDonald said.

McDonald spent 20 years in education, most recently as principal of Garry Middle School in Spokane’s poorest ZIP code. Now she is part of a three-member Washington State Charter School Leadership team.

She and her colleagues are working to develop charter schools in three regions in Washington: Spokane, Tacoma and South King County.

Hers is one of what will likely be several proposals for a charter school that will operate within Spokane Public Schools’ boundary. Such schools are independent public schools that use nontraditional and innovative teaching methods. They are held accountable for improved student achievement, receive taxpayer funding and are governed by their own boards.

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